Quick Hit Ellyn Fortino Tuesday February 24th, 2015, 8:29am

Catching Up With Chicago Mayoral Challenger Fioretti On Election Day Morning (VIDEO)

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), one of four Chicago mayoral challengers taking on incumbent Rahm Emanuel in Tuesday's municipal election, voted this morning at his polling place with his fiance Nicki Pecori.

Fioretti talked with reporters after casting his ballot shortly after 7 a.m. at Van Buren Place, an assisted living facility located at 1504 W. Van Buren St. in the city's 28th Ward. During the 2012 ward remap, Fioretti was drawn out of his original 2nd Ward and into the 28th Ward, currently represented by Ald. Jason Ervin, who faces no aldermanic challengers this election.

After casting their ballots, Pecori told Fioretti, "I'm proud of you," and the two shared a kiss.

Fioretti told reporters he believes his "message has resonated" with voters, adding that he has put forward "realistic solutions to deal with the problems of the future."

"We're facing a fiscal problem," Fioretii said, noting that if the city's financial issues are addressed "the right way, we won't have to raise property taxes, and I hope the mayor heard what I was saying many of times, because if we raise property taxes one more time in this city, we're going to see another urban flight in addition to what's happening now in this city."

Emanuel is looking to secure the 50 percent plus one he needs to win re-election outright and avoid a runoff. A poll conducted Sunday by Ogden and Fry showed Emanuel holding his lead in the race with more than 48 percent of the vote, though the survey had a margin of error of 3.68 percent.

It remains too close to determine whether the four mayoral challengers, who also include Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, community activist William Walls and businessman Willie Wilson, will pull Emanuel, a former congressman and chief of staff to President Barack Obama, under the threshold he needs to avoid a runoff, according to the polling firm's memo. Fioretti came in fourth in the poll at 6.8 percent, behind Wilson at 15.2 percent and Garcia at 26.5 percent.

Fioretti brushed off the survey results, saying he "doesn't believe the poll." 

"I know exactly where the votes are right now right now from early voting, how much and who's ahead, and what the numbers are. They don't match up to that poll," Fioretti said. "But more importantly, what we do see is that there's a large group of undecided, and then there's also a large group that won't tell who they really voted for and a third group that's also saying that they voted for the mayor and really did not, or are leaning towards the mayor and did not."

"I think we're headed towards a runoff, and it will be interesting on how it all turns out in the last day, " he noted, adding that last minute get-out-the-vote efforts will be important, as operatives he's talked to are "predicting a very low turnout."

Asked about his chances of going head-to-head with Emanuel in a runoff, Fioretti said, "I feel very good, but we have to get our base out."

Here's more from Fioretti, including his thoughts on the 2015 mayoral race as well as the 2012 ward remap:

Meanwhile, there are six candidates vying for the open 2nd Ward seat, being vacated by Fioretti. Read about the 2nd Ward race here, and check back with Progress Illinois later today for updates on this contest.


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